To All the Garnets I Love (And the One I Don’t)

I’m not going to lie, this month’s birthstone is probably my least favorite gem. We all have to have a least favorite, right? Or do all you jewelry lovers just have far bigger hearts than me?

Garnet in its most known form does nothing to soothe me. In some cases, it’s rusty. It’s hot. It’s a bit blood-like. There’s just something about the sight of it that makes me feel…unquenched.

Katherine Jetter pearl and garnet earrings
Tik Tok earrings in 18k white gold with rhodolite garnet and gray Tahitian South Sea pearls, $8,400; Katherine Jetter


Kassandra Nicholson friendship ring
Friendship ring in 14k rose gold with mine-cut diamond and demantoid garnet, $4,190; Kassandra Nicholson

But that’s just at its surface, and as it turns out, garnet has a lot more to offer (by the way, that rusty red version of garnet can really leave me feeling covetous—it has, at times). But first impressions can be hard to overcome, so it’s one I still struggle with, despite the knowledge that the gem stuns in a range of colors.

Thelma West garnet ring
Nigeria ring in platinum with green garnet and diamonds, price on request; Thelma West
Diaboli Kill Isadora spiked ear cuff
Isadora spiked ear cuff in 18k yellow gold with red garnet, $6,500; Diaboli Kill by Angie Marei

The rare tsavorite garnet, for example, in its electric green form, is a popular and welcome addition to many designer pieces, offering a pop of color that’s juicy and bright. Demantoid garnet, also green, is an exceptional edition of the stone, also rare and remarkably gorgeous. It’s the kind of stone that invites deeper learning, and tickles the curiosities of gemstone enthusiasts everywhere.

Kavant and Sharart garnet earrings
GeoArt earrings in 18k yellow gold with tsavorite, diamonds, and black enamel, price on request; Kavant & Sharart
Retrouvai garnet ring
Baguette wrap ring in 14k yellow gold with elongated emerald-cut garnet, $3,130; Retrouvaí

Quite possibly my favorite is the purply red rhodolite, the juicy antidote to traditional garnet. It’s so quenching in its richness of color, with beautiful depths that just pull you in.

Anthony Lent garnet sunset earrings
Sunset earrings in 18k yellow gold with spessartine garnet and diamonds, $11,270; Anthony Lent
East Fourth Street garnet earrings
One-of-a-kind Flora leaf earrings in 14k recycled yellow gold with rhodolite garnet, $2,80; East Fourth Street by Susan Crow Jewelry

And of course there is spessartite, the pumpkin-y orange gem I find myself virtually reaching for each year when Halloween rolls around.

Nouvel Heritage tsavorite medallion
Medallion pendant in 18k yellow gold with tsavorite and diamonds, $14,000; Nouvel Heritage
Vram rhodolite garnet ring
One-of-a-kind ring with rhodolite garnet and green sapphires, price on request; Vram

Garnet, I’ve got to hand it to you—you’re more than meets the eye. I think, based on the assortment of designer pieces available featuring January’s birthstone, that many agree.

Top: Amina chandelier earrings in 18k yellow gold with tsavorite, turquoise, malachite, and diamonds, $18,000; Harwell Godfrey

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